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HMRC: New most-wanted Tax Evaders

One year ago HMRC released details of the UK's 20 most sought-after tax criminals, they have now added ten more names and photographs to their “Rogues Gallery.”

Those on the list are being pursued for a range of crimes, including VAT fraud, tax evasion and money laundering, all together, their crimes have cost the taxpayer close to £720m.

Among the new names on the list are Michael "Arthur" Fearon, who is wanted in connection with evasion of excise duty on nearly £8.4m of cigarettes, and is believed to be in the Republic of Ireland.

Anish Anand, who is believed to be in the UK, is wanted in relation to £6m VAT and film tax credit fraud, while Michael George Voudouri is wanted in connection with a £10m VAT fraud. He is believed to be in Northern Cyrpus.

Of the original twenty named, only one has so far been arrested and convicted. Labour said the arrest rate suggested the project had been a "huge failure".

But HMRC said it had intelligence on a number of suspects and 10 more faces have now been added to its gallery. It said last year's appeal had helped provide intelligence on 17 of the alleged offenders, many of whom have been through the court process in their absence, while one was arrested.

A Treasury minister said it was an "unfair assessment" to suggest that the fugitives gallery was more about publicising the government's stance on tax evasion, rather than actually catching people.

"Tax fraud and evasion are illegal and will not be tolerated," said Chancellor George Osborne.

Stuart Coleman, Manager of the Tax Department of ABDS comments:
“Campaigners have argued that focus of the tax authority and government should be on tackling legal but aggressive tax avoidance, notably by large companies. HMRC have set a  target of raising £7bn a year in recouped tax by 2015, the majority would come from tackling legal avoidance, rather than illegal evasion.”

If you are unsure and need any help and advice on Self Assessment, Corporation Tax, VAT, Inheritance Tax, or you need to keep abreast of changes in legislation and how it could impinge upon your business, contact Lavinia Newman, Stuart Coleman or Tonmoy Kumar to discuss how ABDS can help

ABDS Chartered Certified Accountants of Southampton.
Tel: 023 8083 6900  E-mail: abds@netaccountants.net

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